After you apply

After you apply your application will be given an initial formalities check and will be accorded a filing date if the minimum requirements have been met.

You will be sent a receipt with your application number and filing date (the date your application is received).

If your application just complies with the minimum requirements you will be afforded a period of 12 months from the date of filing (or if priority has been claimed, from the date of priority) to file the claims and abstract.

If you have filed a full-term patent application together with a specification comprising a description, abstract, claims and drawings you will be expected ( within a period of 21 months from the filing/priority date of the application, to

(a) request a search report and written opinion or

(b) file a statement that you intend to furnish evidence of novelty in the form of a

(i) search report and opinion prepared in respect of  an application for the same invention in a granted patent specification for the same invention in a prescribed foreign state, convention or treaty, or

(ii) a patent granted in pursuance of that foreign application.

The prescribed foreign states/conventions/treaties are:

  • the United Kingdom, Germany and any other state where a search report accompanied by a written opinion as to patentability for the application relating to the same invention has been prepared by the European Patent Office;
  • the European Patent Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

The fee when submitting the request for a search report and opinion is €200 per application.

The fee payable on submission of evidence of novelty is €86 per application, if paid within 2 months of the publication of the evidence.  Any later submission of the evidence of novelty documents is subject to additional extension fees of €12 per month.

Scope of patent application

Once the application has been filed, the specification may not be amended in any way that extends the scope of the subject matter.  While it is possible to edit a specification - perhaps in the interests of better expressing something that is present from the start, or removing subject matter which the applicant no longer wishes to be part of the protected invention - anything that adds in a substantive way to the original filing will be refused.